Stand with the indigenous Ogiek Community in Kenya
The Ogiek community have endured arbitrary and government-driven forced evictions from their ancestral lands, a practice persisting since before Kenya’s independence. These actions, undertaken without prior consultation or compensation, have significantly disrupted their traditional way of life, impeding access to natural resources, education, health services, and justice.
The Ogiek community, residing in Kenya’s Mau Forest Complex in the Rift Valley, stands as one of the last communities dwelling in these woodlands and represents one of the nation’s most marginalized indigenous groups. Across generations, the Ogiek have relied on the Mau Forest for sustenance, shelter, identity, and survival.
Historically, the Ogiek have endured arbitrary and government-driven forced evictions from their ancestral lands, a practice persisting since before Kenya’s independence. These actions, undertaken without prior consultation or compensation, have significantly disrupted their traditional way of life, impeding access to natural resources, education, health services, and justice.
In October 2009, the Kenya Forest Service ordered the eviction of the Ogiek community from the Mau Forest within 30 days. The Kenyan government knew that the Ogiek had occupied lands in the Mau Forest since time immemorial, however they refused to recognize them as an indigenous population that needed to be protected. The Ogiek community then filed a case to the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights in Arusha. The court decided on the case in 2017 in favor of the community. It ruled that the Kenyan government violated seven separate articles of the African Charter for which it is a signatory. The Court said that Kenyan authorities should not have expelled the Ogiek from their ancestral lands against their will and should not have deprived them of disposing of the food produced by these lands. In doing so, they violated their right to land and their right to disposing of the wealth and natural resources of their land.
On 23 June 2022, the Court further ordered Kenya to pay compensation to the Ogiek for the material and moral prejudice they suffered, as well as to take all necessary measures, legislative and otherwise, to identify, delimit and title Ogiek ancestral land and to grant them collective title to such land.
s,cc please directlyDespite all the court judgements affirming the Ogiek rights, in November 2023 the Kenyan Government began another round of evictions of the Ogiek community from the Mau forest. The evictions have come at a time when there are long rains being experienced in Kenya and there has been limited access to essential services by the community. The blatant disregard of the court rulings is a direct violation of the international human rights obligations and commitments by the Kenyan Government.
ALLIED has launched an initiative aimed at channeling meaningful support to the community, undertaking concrete steps to mobilize and consolidate efforts to secure humanitarian assistance to the affected families and households who are in a very dire situation.
The demand-driven response, has seen ALLIED set up an ad-hoc coalition consisting of local actors, humanitarian actors, support organizations etc. with the aim of mobilizing resources that can go into the humanitarian support of the community as well as provide psychosocial support and security assistance. The initiative is coordinated by ALLIED in conjunction with ALLIED member organizations working on the issue at the grassroots level.
This is separate from ALLIED’s fundraising efforts and ALLIED would not be receiving funds on behalf of the community; we are building the bridges and connections that the Ogiek grassroots organizations need to connect with those with capacity to support them. Each organization is free-and encouraged-to conduct their own due diligence processes.
How can you help?
- To make donations that would go directly into the humanitarian support for the affected victims in the Mau Complex, please contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for directions on where to channel the support.
- Volunteer and Offer Support: We call on organizations that can offer psychosocial support and security assistance to go directly to the Affected community members to contact ALLIED Coordination team at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Spread Awareness: Help raise awareness about the Ogiek community evictions across social media platforms, websites, and personal networks using the hashtag #StandWithOgieks. Together, we can amplify their voices and raise visibility around the evictions.
- If you have skills or expertise that can contribute to the campaign, we warmly welcome your involvement! Join our team and lend your support in social media, or legal assistance. Contact us at email@example.com explore how you can make a meaningful contribution.
Together, we can make a difference and protect the lives and culture of Indigenous Peoples. Join the Solidarity Campaign today!